Workers at Portsmouth, Rhode Island’s Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center on Monday voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 328. The company is the second cannabis business in the state to join the union, following workers at Ocean State Cultivation Center in Warwick who unanimously ratified their first union contract in October 2020 – but is the first dispensary.
The vote was 21-1.
In a joint statement, Greenleaf’s workers said they were “proud to become a part of the larger momentum being seen by workers to unionize that is taking place within the cannabis industry.”
“We hope that through demonstrating our continued commitment to one another in organizing as workers that we can create some form of lasting change within Greenleaf that allows for better job security and more space for us to actually be heard.” – Greenleaf workers in a statement
Seth Bock, the CEO of Greenleaf, told the Providence Journal that the company respects its employees’ right to unionize.
We at Greenleaf believe that the health and happiness of our employees is at the core of our success, and that fundamental premise has not changed,” Bock said in a statement to the Journal. “As always, we look forward to our continued partnership with all of our valued employees – a partnership that will surely lead to continued success for all.”
Sam Marvin, the union’s director of organizing, said he was unaware of any other union efforts at other dispensaries in Providence and Warwick but called the vote “really important” as state lawmakers are considering legislation to legalize cannabis for adult use in the state.
Gov. Daniel McKee (D), who took over last month following the confirmation of Gina Raimondo to lead the U.S. Department of Commerce, said in January that “it’s time” for the state to legalize cannabis.
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